Saturday, 8 May 2010

"To free up disk space, Outlook Express can compact messages. This may take up to a few minutes"

Are you receiving this warning message despite not using Microsoft Outlook Express?


"Why do I get this warning?"

Although you may not realise it, Windows constantly indexes certain files on your PC to speed up responses when you search for files and documents.

By default, Windows (XP and Vista) includes the files that Outlook Express uses to store emails on your computer in this index. Unfortunately, disabling Outlook Express as your email software (or even removing it from your computer completely) often does not stop Windows from trying to index the location of these files.

Don't panic, this annoying alert can soon be overcome by following these few simple steps:

Go to your start menu and click on control panel. The screen print below has been taken from Windows XP but you should have similar options in Vista. You are looking for an icon called 'indexing options':


(If your control panel is displayed in category view you may have to select classic view down the left hand side first)

Double click on indexing options and you should see a new window open like the one below:


This tells me that Windows has currently indexed 61,237 of the files on my PC but is still trying to index the Microsoft Outlook Express files. You may see more than one option for Outlook Express and probably different folders to the ones shown on my computer too.

Click the Modify button in the bottom left and another window should open:


Don't worry if you don't see exactly the same files as me, the cause of our problem is a tick next to any of the Outlook Express options in the top half of the window. Untick all of the boxes that correspond to Microsoft Outlook Express options (just the middle one of the three in my case).

When you untick each option, the window will refresh and you will see Outlook Express disappear from the bottom window.

Click OK to close this 'Indexed Locations' window, then click close on the 'Indexing Options' window which is probably still open. Close your Control Panel and you are finished.

Now, the next time you switch your computer on you may still get the warning but this should be the last time. We can only assume this is just to confuse us! If you still get the warning after this, get in touch via our website and we will see what we can do to help.


Adam

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